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Turkmenistan: President To Meet With Russian Security Head

Ashgabat, 3 January 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The secretary of Russia's Security Council is set today to meet with Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov. Vladimir Rushailo arrived in Ashgabat yesterday and held talks with Turkmen Defense Minister Redjepbai Arazov, Security Minister Batyr Busakov, and Interior Minister Annaberdy Kakabaev. The three Turkmen ministers are now heading the National Council for the defense of constitutional order.

The council was created in response to the reported assassination attempt on Niyazov in late November.

The assassination attempt was expected to be a main topic of discussion.

Three of the alleged planners of the attack have Russian citizenship, and four Russian citizens are being held in Turkmenistan in connection with the attack.

Rushailo had said the official reason for his trip was for talks on the problems of international and regional security.